06.05.12_Spinach and Ricotta Whole Wheat Empanadas

There is a place down the street called Julia's Empanadas that is A-MAZING. They are super cheap and we love getting them late night after going out. They have two vegetarian options there, one of which is this Spinach Empanada. When trying to come up with meals for the week we remembered that we had some whole wheat dough from Whole Foods leftover from another night. I decided to try and recreate Julia's empanada, but make it a little healthier by using the whole wheat dough and baking them instead of frying. Obviously if we had fried them they would have been even more delicious, but they were still really great baked, just not as flaky and buttery as a normal empanada. They were super easy to make since I used the store bought dough. If you're feeling extra adventurous you could definitely make the dough yourself.

Spinach and Ricotta Whole Wheat Empanadas
Makes 4 empanadas
  • 1/2 package of refrigerated whole wheat dough (if you want to use the full package just double the rest of the ingredients)
  • TBSP olive oil
  • 3/4 cup of frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1/4 grated Parmesan 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 egg (I didn't have an egg so I used a mixture of butter and milk instead of an egg wash)
1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Defrost the spinach and ring out the extra spinach.
3. Heat a TBSP of olive oil in a saute pan. Add the onion and cook until they begin to get translucent. Add the garlic and defrosted spinach and cook until the spinach is heated through. Set mixture aside to let cool.
4. In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan and the spinach mixture. Add in salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Taste the mixture to adjust seasoning as necessary.
5. Roll out the dough on a floured surface until its about 1/8-1/4" thick. Use a small bowl to cut out circles of dough. Half a package should easily make 4 empanadas.
6. Scoop 2-3 TBSP of the spinach and cheese mixture onto each circle of dough. Fold the dough in half and crimp the edges of the empandas with a fork.
7. Place the empanadas on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Brush each empanada with an egg wash. Cut an X into each empanada to let steam escape while baking.
8. Bake the empanadas for about 15 minutes and then enjoy!


Elisabeth said...

These look amazing, I will be making them! Heads up though, Parmesan isn't vegetarian (sadly.)

Jonathan Halpin said...

That is super depressing. But thanks for letting me know.